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#1503661 Sun Jun 04 2023 11:39 PM
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 178
In May 2022, Lurch and I spent a WONDERFUL week at the VCCA's 30th Four Cylinder Tour, in Porterville, CA. This event is only open to 1911 - 1928 Chevys, so we hob knobed with around 40 other vehicles of this era and enjoyed being amongst other similarly diseased owners and families. Here's a link to Lurch's take on the event: Lurch Goes On Tour []

We drove over 300 miles in 4 days! ;-) Unfortunately, Lurch developed a noticeable 'squeal' towards the end of the week. The sound seemed to be coming from the clutch or transmission area. I did notice that it only squealed right after shifting gears and stepping on the gas pedal. This leads me to think the problem is a worn clutch. Another possibility is weak pressure plate springs.

To help confirm that the clutch is worn, I put Lurch in first (granny) gear, put wheel chocks in front of the rear wheels, and tried to turn the engine over with the hand crank. Sure enough, I was able to give the engine a 1/2 half turn WITHOUT the rear wheels turning. This little test seems to confirm that the clutch is slipping. I'll learn more when everything is opened up.

Well, it's time to put Lurch under the knife, figure out what the problem is, and fix it. I'll be posting my progress and findings as I go through this project.

Lurch sleeps under his blankie (tarp) in the driveway. I don't have a garage (that became our bedroom 45 years ago) and the carport is taken up by Justin. See Lurch blissfully sleeping in photo number one. That is also where I work on him.

In photo number two, you'll see how I normally jack up his rear axle. This setup won't do for the surgery. The jacks need to be under the rear chassis, which in turn allows his rear axle to hang lower and provide more space in the u-joint area. Photo number three shows the jack moved to be holding up the chassis.

Pic number four shows the transmission area (from underneath) before any disassembly takes place. Ahead of the tranny, you'll see Lurch's depends (a cake pan that catches his engine drippings). Hey, when you're over 95 years old, you're gonna drip!

The next pic shows the floor space in what's left of the cab. Photo number six shows the floor boards taken off and the transmission area exposed from the top. You'll also see in this photo the main battery disconnect, which is mounted to the side of the transmission.

Before I started taking anything apart, I drained the oil out of the transmission.

In pic number seven, the u-joint ball housing retainer is unbolted and slid back. In pic number eight, I'm starting to take the u-joint itself apart. Photo number nine shows the u-joint starting to come apart.

At this point, I have the opportunity to inspect the u-joint bearings (trunnions) and the yoke shafts. I was wondering if Lurch had a '27 u-joint (which was the same one used in cars) or if he had a '28 u-joint, which was more heavy duty. It turns out that he has the '27 parts and they are within spec (.004 inch difference between the trunnion ID and the yoke shaft OD). Good news!

To be continued...

Cheers, Dean

Attached Images
01-IMG_8813.JPG (198.04 KB, 208 downloads)
The patient awaiting surgery.
02-IMG_8811.JPG (276.77 KB, 207 downloads)
Lurch's rear all jacked up
03-IMG_8814.JPG (196.3 KB, 208 downloads)
The jack (and blocks) moved to support the chassis instead of under the rear axle.
04-IMG_8815.JPG (357.47 KB, 207 downloads)
The heavy boat anchor (uh, transmission) that needs to be dropped in order to access the clutch area.
05-IMG_8817.JPG (220.24 KB, 206 downloads)
Top view of the spacious and glamorous cab floor.
06-IMG_8819.JPG (274.73 KB, 205 downloads)
View of the tranny from the top with the floor boards removed.
07-IMG_8821.JPG (308.21 KB, 205 downloads)
The u-joint area starting to be opened up.
08-IMG_8823.JPG (288.24 KB, 204 downloads)
Taking apart the u-joint itself.
09-IMG_8824.JPG (323.14 KB, 205 downloads)
The u-joint starting to be pulled apart.

Dean 'Rustoholic' Meltz
Lurch: 1927 1-Ton Chevy Cattle Truck
Old and ugly is beautiful! -- The Saga []
Lurch's Gallery
Justin: 1928 Chevrolet AB Canopy Express
In the Stovebolt Gallery
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 8,073
Housekeeping (Moderator) Making a Stovebolt Bed & Paint and Body Shop Forums

I was fearful when you described your photos in your post, but relieved when I saw CAPTIONS yahoo on your photos themselves.

Nicely done. A gold star for you. chug

Hope the clutch work goes well and Lurch quits squealing soon. smile

Newest Project - 51 Chevy 3100 work truck. Photos []
#2 - '29 Ford pickup restored from the ground up.
First car '29 Ford Special Coupe
Busting rust since the mid-60's
If you're smart enough to take it apart, you darn well better be smart enough to put it back together.
Joined: Nov 1995
Posts: 6,205
Unrepentant VW Lover
On pins and needles ... eek


"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went."
Will Rogers

1927 Chevrolet Capitol 1-Ton Express -- A work in progress
In Project Journals
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In Gallery Forum
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2014 Ford E-350 4x4 (Quigley)
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Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 178
The next steps were more disassembly.

With the u-joint uncoupled (first photo below), I dropped the torque tube out of the way. I had a jack stand waiting to support it (second photo below).

I slid the rear u-joint yoke off of the drive shaft and removed the u-joint ball housing off the torque tube (see the third photo below).

Now I can do a little more inspection and I found more clues from the scene of the crime.

In the fourth photo below, you can see that there is some MAJOR scraping going on inside the u-joint ball housing. Not good at all!

I wiggled the drive shaft (called the propeller shaft in the parts book) and found that it could move around 1/16 of an inch is all directions. This could contribute to the u-joint moving around inside its housing.

Next I wiggled the u-joint half still attached to the transmission and found it to be loose! Yes, the cotter pin is in the nut holding the yoke on, but that nut is not tightened down so the yoke can move around another 1/16 of an inch. Hmmmmm.

After that little test, I put the rear u-joint yoke back on the drive shaft splines and found that the yoke was very sloppy on the splines (another 1/16 of an inch of wiggle room). See the last photo.

I will investigate this further after the transmission comes out. At the very least, I need to replace the front drive shaft bushing to take up the slack for the drive shaft sidways movement.

I might need to replace the u-joint yokes. Time will tell. This might be an opportunity to put a 1928 u-joint in Lurch, which has larger bearings. I will explore this down the road.

'Til next time, Dean

Attached Images
10-IMG_8825.JPG (274.82 KB, 161 downloads)
U-joint apart with rear bearings removed.
11-IMG_8829.JPG (168.93 KB, 163 downloads)
Jack stand supporting the torque tube after dropping it from the rear of the tranny.
12-IMG_8826.JPG (318.9 KB, 162 downloads)
U-joint ball housing and rear yoke with bearings removed from torque tube.
13-IMG_8852.JPG (197.91 KB, 163 downloads)
Scratched up inside of the ball housing. ;-(
14-IMG_8848.JPG (248.75 KB, 161 downloads)
Exposed front half of the u-joint which wiggled and jiggled too much!!
15-IMG_8851.JPG (255.14 KB, 161 downloads)
Rear u-joint put back onto front of the drive shaft to check fitness. Way too sloppy!

Dean 'Rustoholic' Meltz
Lurch: 1927 1-Ton Chevy Cattle Truck
Old and ugly is beautiful! -- The Saga []
Lurch's Gallery
Justin: 1928 Chevrolet AB Canopy Express
In the Stovebolt Gallery
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 178
Since the drive shaft wiggles around too much, it is obvious that the front drive shaft bushing needs to be replaced.

Photo number 16 shows the front end of the torque tube with the drive shaft sticking out the end, the bushing access hole (the slot) and the locating pin that prevents the bushing from rotating.

The red arrow is pointing to the pin. It is 5/16" in diameter and really short (I didn't know this until I pulled it out). The blue arrow is pointing to one of the four places where the previous guy who worked on this peened the pin in place.

I'm going to use my dremel tool to grind the peened pin anchors away, so I first slipped a sandwich bag over the end of the drive shaft and taped it to the torque tube in order to protect these areas from the grinding and drilling that I'm going to do. See photo 17.

In photo 18, I've ground away some material at the peening points and have drilled a 1/8" hole in the middle of the pin.

Begin little saga within a saga.

My first attempt to get the pin out was to use an easy out in the little hole I drilled. No go. The tip of the easy out broke off. ;-(

Luckily, the easy out was a cheap one and was not hardened, so I could drill down through it and get back to square one. I then opened up the hole to 3/16" and tried a better easy out. The pin stayed put and the easy out just twisted out.

Next, I opened up the hole in the pin again to 19/64" (just under 5/16") and the pin now spins around, but won't lift out.

Enter Rube Goldberg. I took a hardened concrete nail and ground it a little to make the point into a tiny chisel. I then drove the chisel in between the outside of the pin (which is now a tube) and the outer edge of the hole in the torque tube. I hoped that creating a crimp in the pin/tube would stop it from spinning in the hole.

The crimp did the trick. Yay! I went in again with the 19/64" drill and now the drill bit dug into the pin/tube and yanked it out of the hole. Whew!! See photo 19, which shows the concrete 'chisel' and the pin at the end of the drill bit. That's a REALLY short pin!!! Like, only 3/16" long.

End little saga.

In photo 20, I cleaned out the crud that was in the slot and now you can clearly see the front edge of the bushing, along with its ridge for knocking it out. The hole in the middle of the pin hole is where my 1/8" drill bit went through the pin and into the bushing.

Using a short length of 1/8" square key stock, I knocked the bushing mostly out (photos 21 and 22). At one point, the square stock got stuck in the slot, so I used a bent nail to push the bushing out the rest of the way.

It turns out that there is an old cork seal and a steel washer that was behind the bushing. You can see the seal through the slot in photo 23. Using a skinny screwdriver, I cajoled the washer and seal out of the torque tube. See photo 24.

That's the end of this episode of squealgate.

Later, Dean

Attached Images
16-IMG_8855.jpg (168.22 KB, 105 downloads)
Naked front end of Lurch's torque tube.
17-IMG_8858.JPG (178.56 KB, 105 downloads)
Torque tube end bagged and taped to protect from grinding and drilling.
18-IMG_8867.JPG (164.54 KB, 105 downloads)
Peen points ground out and center hole drilled into the pin.
19-IMG_8869.JPG (85.47 KB, 105 downloads)
Concrete nail/chisel (on bottom) and drill bit with stubborn pin (top) on it in triumph.
20-IMG_8870.JPG (166.59 KB, 105 downloads)
Front of bushing showing in the access slot.
21-IMG_8871.JPG (160.38 KB, 105 downloads)
Starting to knock the bushing out, now that the locating pin is removed.
22-IMG_8872.JPG (208.61 KB, 105 downloads)
Continuing to knock the bushing out.
23-IMG_8873.JPG (186.87 KB, 105 downloads)
Bushing all the way out. The seal and washer that was behind the bushing is now visible.
24-IMG_8874.JPG (196.48 KB, 105 downloads)
The old cork seal and its backing washer are now out. ;-)
Last edited by Rustoholic; Mon Jun 12 2023 01:23 AM. Reason: fixed pics

Dean 'Rustoholic' Meltz
Lurch: 1927 1-Ton Chevy Cattle Truck
Old and ugly is beautiful! -- The Saga []
Lurch's Gallery
Justin: 1928 Chevrolet AB Canopy Express
In the Stovebolt Gallery
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 178
Continuing to prepare for the transmission removal, I took off most of the bell housing bolts, but left the top two. I also put in long bolts on the two sides of the bell housing. When I finally pull the transmission away from the flywheel housing, these long bolts will support the tranny and allow me to pull it straight back to disengage the input shaft from the clutch. See photo number 25 below.

Next is to loosened (not take off) the tranny cross member support bolts. In photo 26 below, you'll see an arrow pointing to one of the shims that keep the tranny centered and tight between the chassis rails. These shims are driven in from the top with the bolts in place, but loose. To take the shims out, I have to drive them up and out. See photos 27 and 28.

Looking around my stash piles, I found a couple of brackets that I'll use to attach a lifting chain to the sides of the transmission. See photos 29 and 30.

I don't have a cherry-picker style engine hoist, but I do have a Hoyer lift that can lift 450 pounds, so it'll do the trick. See photo 31. I made a boom attachment for it from a steel bar that used to be part of the original 1947 garage door mechanism in our house. Repurpose!!

Photo 32 was taken a moment before I tried to back the transmission away from the engine block. In photo 33, the tranny has disengaged from the block and is dangling from the lift and the long bolts. Safety first!

In pic 34, the transmission has been lowered to the ground and you can see the pressure plate still attached to the flywheel.

Story continued in the next post.


Attached Images
25-IMG_8880.JPG (221.05 KB, 95 downloads)
Most of the mounting bolts are removed, but two long bolts were put in at the sides and the top two mounting bolts are still in place, getting ready to separate the transmission from the block.
26-IMG_8875.JPG (267.27 KB, 95 downloads)
This photo shows one of the shims that keep the transmission cross member centered and tight between the chassis rails.
27-IMG_8881.JPG (231.17 KB, 95 downloads)
Loosening the cross member bolts. It's good to have little fingers for this job!
28-IMG_8888.JPG (169.68 KB, 94 downloads)
Cross member shim sticking out after knocking it upwards (knocking it up???).
29-IMG_8882.JPG (325.84 KB, 94 downloads)
Attaching rusty brackets to the emergency brake mounting holes. These brackets will be attached to the chain that will hold the transmission up with the Hoyer lift.
30-IMG_8883.JPG (267.29 KB, 94 downloads)
Transmission ready for separation from the engine block.
31-IMG_8884.JPG (210.04 KB, 94 downloads)
Hoyer lift doing double duty as an engine hoist.
32-IMG_8889.JPG (231.65 KB, 93 downloads)
Tranny ready to pop off!
33-IMG_8890.JPG (263.89 KB, 93 downloads)
Houston, we have separation!
34-IMG_8891.JPG (201.14 KB, 93 downloads)
Tranny on the ground and pressure plate assembly exposed.

Dean 'Rustoholic' Meltz
Lurch: 1927 1-Ton Chevy Cattle Truck
Old and ugly is beautiful! -- The Saga []
Lurch's Gallery
Justin: 1928 Chevrolet AB Canopy Express
In the Stovebolt Gallery
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 178
In photo number 35, you can see the throw out bearing assembly still on the transmission input shaft. When I slid it off, I noticed that the bearing itself seemed to get very hot, as indicated by the blue discoloring in pic number 36. I will replace this bearing.

Pic number 37 shows the pressure plate assembly. I took out a couple of the mounting bolts (top and bottom) and replaced them with bolts that are a little longer so that when I take all the other mounting bolts off, the pressure plate would not pop off and drop to the ground.

When the pressure plate assembly came off (pic 38), a surprise was waiting for me. The pilot bearing evidently was loose in the end of the crankshaft and it pulled out when the tranny was pulled out. You can see it sitting in the middle of the clutch hole, where the tranny input shaft goes. This bearing will be replaced too!

With the clutch out of the flywheel, I inspected the clutch contact surface of the flywheel (pic 39) and it looks pretty good. Just a little glazing, so I'll scuff it up with some sandpaper before reassembly begins.

That's all for now.

Ever onward, Dean

Attached Images
35-IMG_8893.JPG (185.9 KB, 92 downloads)
Throw out bearing assembly still on the transmission input shaft.
36-IMG_8897.JPG (212.78 KB, 92 downloads)
Blue discoloring on the throw out bearing, indicating it got hot!
37-IMG_8898.JPG (190.17 KB, 92 downloads)
Starting to remove the pressure plate assembly. Notice the two longer bolts sticking out that will catch and support the assembly when all the other mounting bolts are removed.
38-IMG_8903.JPG (237.41 KB, 92 downloads)
Clutch exposed with the pilot bearing sitting in the middle hole. This tells me that the pilot bearing was loose in the end of the crankshaft.
39-IMG_8901.JPG (232.84 KB, 92 downloads)
Clutch seat on flywheel. Looks pretty good, save for some glazing.

Dean 'Rustoholic' Meltz
Lurch: 1927 1-Ton Chevy Cattle Truck
Old and ugly is beautiful! -- The Saga []
Lurch's Gallery
Justin: 1928 Chevrolet AB Canopy Express
In the Stovebolt Gallery
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 178
I've been busy chasing parts and figuring out what to do about the pilot bearing replacement.

I found a NOS front torque tube bushing on ebay, so that's a score!! None of the Chevy four cylinder part vendors carries this part. I will, however, need to get creative about the seal that goes behind this bushing. Nobody carries this seal for the 1927 torque tube. I will check with local seal vendors and report back with what I find.

For the pilot bearing, I bought a new one from Gary Wallace ( and found that it was loose in the crankshaft hole. It is supposed to be an press fit. Hmmmmm. After some measuring, some banter with other Bolters, and other research, I have a plan for its installation. Here is the discussion thread about the pilot bearing:

The next thing on the agenda is refurbishing the pressure plate. I'll cover that in the next post.

Cheers, Dean

Last edited by Rustoholic; Thu Jul 13 2023 08:56 PM. Reason: added info

Dean 'Rustoholic' Meltz
Lurch: 1927 1-Ton Chevy Cattle Truck
Old and ugly is beautiful! -- The Saga []
Lurch's Gallery
Justin: 1928 Chevrolet AB Canopy Express
In the Stovebolt Gallery
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 178
On to refurbishing the pressure plate. I bought a set of new springs from Gary Wallace in preparation for this work.

One of the first things I noticed when inspecting the pressure plate assembly is that one of the pivot pins had lost one of its spring clips and was sticking out the side (see photo 40 below). Not good.

Photos 41 and 42 show the front and back of the pressure plate assembly as taken out of Lurch. The clutch plate looks serviceable and the rest just needs a good cleaning and some paint.

To safely take the pressure plate assembly apart, I set up two large C clamps so I can take out the eight 3/8" bolts and then slowly let the springs push the assembly apart. See photo 43.

Photos 44 and 45 show the inside of the pressure plate assembly. Rusty, crusty, but not too worn.

Photo 46 shows one of the pivot pins that lost one of its spring clips and was rusted in this offset position.

I had to use a gnarly C clamp to move that pin back and forth (with some help of some lubricating oil) before it would come out. Before I put pressure on the pin with the clamp, I measured the gap on the side of the pivot arm and inserted a brass shim in there so the C clamp would not crack the cast iron side supports that hold the pivot arm. See photo 47.

I cleaned up the pivot pins with some used emery cloth (see photo 48) and bought some new 3/8"-16x3/4" bolts, new lock washers, and new spring clips at the local hardware store for the reassembly.

After cleaning off the clutch surface plate with some emery cloth wrapped around a square aluminum block, I cleaned and painted the two plates, the pivot arms, and the new set of springs. I used a rattle can of Rustoleum high temp flat black that was laying around.

Before reassembling the whole shebang, I put a teeny bit of Lubriplate 115 grease (very tacky marine grease) on the pivot pins to help the pivot arms move nicely.

Then came the reassembly itself. I used my big C clamps to compress the springs so that I could use the new bolts and lock washers to hold it all together. See photo 49. Now the pressure plate assembly is ready to go back into Lurch when I'm ready to do it.

Cheers, Dean

Attached Images
40-IMG_8907.JPG (109.36 KB, 57 downloads)
Photo 40 showing a pivot pin what lost the spring clips on side and is rusted in an offset position
41-IMG_8912.JPG (244.28 KB, 56 downloads)
Photo 41 shows the pressure plate assembly as it was taken out of Lurch.
42-IMG_8913.JPG (260.47 KB, 57 downloads)
Photo 42 shows the clutch side of the pressure plate as it was found in Lurch.
43-IMG_8918.JPG (263.86 KB, 57 downloads)
Photo 43 shows the big C clamps that held the pressure plate assembly together while I unbolted one side from the other. After the bolts were taken out, I unscrewed the C clamps simultaneously to allow the springs to expand safely.
44-IMG_8919.JPG (252.55 KB, 56 downloads)
Photo 44 shows the opened pressure plate assembly with the rusty springs still in this half. I took one of the springs out before snapping the pic.
45-IMG_8920.JPG (255.01 KB, 56 downloads)
Photo 45 shows the other half of the pressure plate assembly that contains the pivot arms and pins.
46-IMG_8923.JPG (124.16 KB, 55 downloads)
Photo 46 shows the pin that is rusted in an offset position. It is supposed to have a spring clip on each end that keeps it centered and in the correct position.
47-IMG_8931.JPG (254.01 KB, 55 downloads)
Photo 47 shows the heavy duty C clamp in position to push the rusted pivot pin out. Notice the sliver of brass shim in the side gap of the pivot arms which allowed the clamp to push on the pin without braking the casting.
48-IMG_8935.JPG (216.11 KB, 55 downloads)
Photo 48 shows the cleaning up of the pivot pins. I put some plywood jaws on my vice so as not to mar the pins while I cleaned them up with some emery cloth.
49-IMG_8948.JPG (258.22 KB, 56 downloads)
Photo 49 shows the painted pressure plate parts being reassembled using the big C clamps to pull the plates against the springs so that they can be bolted together using new hardware.

Dean 'Rustoholic' Meltz
Lurch: 1927 1-Ton Chevy Cattle Truck
Old and ugly is beautiful! -- The Saga []
Lurch's Gallery
Justin: 1928 Chevrolet AB Canopy Express
In the Stovebolt Gallery
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 1,326
Dean, I have really been enjoying your posts. Thanks for taking the time to post on your progress with Lurch!

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